Culture Newsstands are essential for culture and communication

Joaquim Rosas has worked for 15 years in a newsstand in the center of Manaus. (Gabriel Abreu/Cenarium)

Marcos Lima – from Cenarium

MANAUS – Magazine stands are places for those who want to seek culture, information and knowledge. With the arrival of the internet, the place stopped being searched by the public because of the ease of having access to information even in the palm of your hand by cell phone. Altogether, according to estimates from representatives of the sector, there are still around 400 thousand establishments registered as magazine stands in the country. And these places still have a large flow of people who seek other services that were not offered before.

To adapt and increase the revenue, in the newsstands it is possible to buy water, soft drinks, cigarettes, sweets, cell phone cards, and in times of pandemic, even face masks. Those passing by have the option to make these small purchases and, of course, to buy a magazine or a newspaper, as in the old days.

“I consider myself resistant. I still sell a lot of magazines. Technology has arrived, but if you take a ten year old boy and tell him to write a sentence, he can’t write, because he is not used to reading or writing in the traditional way, just by computer or cell phone. Parents are seeing this. A revolution is happening. That’s why, besides newspapers and magazines, we sell a lot of calligraphy books, studies, contests”, said Joaquim Rosas, who has been working for 15 years in a newsstand located at Eduardo Ribeiro Avenue, in the center of Manaus.

One of the facts that can explain a possible reduction in the sales of printed publications at the newsstands is the advance of technology and the practicality of having access to information in a simple way. This variation accelerates more and more the digitalization of the publications. “The crisis has accelerated, virtually beyond doubt, the transition to a 100% digital future”, states a 2020 report by the Reuters Institute, a British news agency considered the world’s largest international news agency, based in London.

“Newspaper has always been technology”

“When a new means of communication comes along, a more advanced technology. We first have to understand that the media have always been technologies, tools for society to organize itself and be able to socialize and interact. Scholars of communication cultures separate them into a few eras. First came orality, then writing and print culture. Then came the culture of mass communication with radio, telegraph, television, driven by the boom of the industrial revolution, which changed the whole form of social organization, when there was a very large immigration of the rural population to the big cities, with the emergence of large industries and new forms of communication”, says researcher and doctor in society and culture in the Amazon, Edilene Mafra.

She continues: “The media culture, when people started to have access to videocassettes and film cameras, started to record their lives, to interfere in the contents of the analog media. And, with the invention of the computer and the boost of the internet, the digital age and digital culture emerged”, Edilene exemplifies.

A bit of history…

In the historical context, the invention of the press occurred in the 15th century by the German Johannes Gutenberg. Since then, printed publications have emerged and dominated the way of reporting facts and transmitting them in mass to the population; previously, handwritten information was restricted to a small part of the population.

“Some technological milestones have revolutionized the media, not only technology changes, people are on the move. They organize themselves socially, economically, culturally and in new ways. They are adapting to these technologies that are emerging. With this, new forms of communication and new media emerge, and they are almost always hybrids, because they have all the technological support based on analogical experiences”, Edilene pointed out.

With the invention of the radio, in the 20th century, there was doubt as to whether printed publications would survive the modernity of the time. In the 20s of the last century, television appeared and the thought was that radio and printed publications would end. It was the same thing that happened when the Internet came into people’s homes.

“A lot of people wonder, if with the emergence of the internet the other media will die, but they will not die. If you pay attention, even within this cyberspace, the great virtual environment that we live in today, that society communicates, by the way, constantly, all cultures interact. There is speech, written, printed, mass culture, the media that each one produces its own content. There is digital culture, because all of this is transformed into a digital file. For a new form of communication and a new technology to emerge, it is not necessary that the others die. It can give life to new forms of communication, new communication tools, and new technologies”, added the researcher.


According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in a survey released in October of this year, the sector of Books, Newspapers, Magazines, and Stationery had a drop of 25.2%. In the year 2021, the reduction is 20.7%. The sector had positive numbers in June with a growth of 17.1%, however, in the following month the drop was of 23.2%. In August, a high of 1.3% was recorded compared to the same period in 2020, reversing the negative sign for this indicator recorded in July (-23.2%). The accumulated indicator for the year, which went from -22.9% until July to -20.9% until August, indicates a reduction in the loss of momentum, the same movement as the annualized indicator, accumulated over the last 12 months, which went from -28.2% until July to -25.2% until August.